EXCELLENCE of practice is central to the Design-Nation portfolio.
All designers and makers who apply for full membership are vetted by an independent selection panel, that is drawn from a wide pool of industry experts, including curators, writers, academics, manufacturers, retailers, gallerists, materials experts, senior designer-makers and event organisers.
A deep knowledge of craft, materials and processes and quality of work & craftsmanship are key criteria for Design-Nation’s selection process. Designer-makers must show evidence of innovative thinking and problem solving, and be actively commitment and passionate about developing their creative and business practices.
While Design-Nation is focused on contemporary making, knowledge of traditional methods and materials is essential. Great examples of how traditional making underpins beautiful contemporary design can be seen in the vibrant abstract quilt designs of Georgia Bosson, impressive clusters of geometric slipcast ceramic lighting by Anna Thomson, and the delicately coloured handblown glass vessels of Scott Benefield, which celebrate his adopted home of Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Renowned weaver Jan Bowman brings her sensitive design skills to an immersive installation made of many smaller works, and potter Linda Bloomfield’s deep knowledge of wheel-throwing and mixing glazes come to the fore in her new sculptural shapes. Alison Shelton Brown’s wearable work skillfully combines new clay, found objects and a poetic and caring approach.
Some makers joyfully embrace new technologies and contemporary materials. Textile artist Laura Mabbutt is enhancing the visual impact of her fibre art techniques with augmented reality, while Rachel Fitzpatrick demonstrates impressive innovation in materials use and processes by making her dramatic lighting sculptures, rather unexpectedly, in Velcro™.